Breeder banned in cruelty case

A couple have been banned from keeping horses for life after admitting causing unnecessary suffering

A horse breeder and her partner have been banned from keeping horses for life and fined £1,500 and £900 each, plus costs amounting to more than £4,400.

Susan Smith, 44, and her partner Brian Blizzard, appeared before North Avon Magistrates Court, where they pleaded guilty to three counts of causing unnecessary suffering.

The court heard that RSPCA inspectors first visited Ingst Manor Farm, near Olveston, South Glos, in February last year.

RSPCA officers described the conditions of the fields at the farm as: “similar to a rice paddy.”

Thecourt was also played video evidence,which was described by the judge as “horrific”. It showed several dead horses lying in muddy fields with waterlogged ditches.

A chestnut mare was found dead in the field, covered in plastic bags. A post mortem revealed she had died of multiple bone fractures, weakened by starvation.

A foal, which later died, was found collapsed and so emaciated that its bones stuck out.

The defence told the court that Smiththought the animals had died after being given food containing ragwort.

District judge Roger House, told the pair that while he did not think they had been deliberately cruel to the horses on the farm, he was concerned about their ability to manage their care, especially as they both had full-time jobs.

The couple currently have 115 cattle and 75 horses and ponies on their farm.

Vet Richard Rowe told the court: “I think that the only way to prevent further problems with horses [at Ingst Manor Farm] is for there to be no horses.”

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